Buying used: 2010 Honda Ridgeline worth seeking out

This is as comfortable a truck as you’ll find and little touches make everything that much more civilized

Buying used: 2010 Honda Ridgeline worth seeking outIntroduced in 2005, the Ridgeline was Honda’s first attempt to penetrate the pickup truck market in North America. How did that work out? Famously. The Ridgeline was an almost instant success. In 2010, it was propelled by a transversely-mounted 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and a full-time all-wheel-drive system. Fuel economy…

Buying used: 2011 Chevrolet Volt

Unlike other hybrid cars, the Volt is designed to run on battery power alone for 60 km before the auxiliary gas engine cuts in

Buying used: 2011 Chevrolet VoltHybrid cars have exploded in popularity over the past few years. It’s to the point where you can’t always get one right away from a dealer and have to place your order and wait. But what about used? Hybrids with a few kilometres on them are making their way onto the used car market and…

Buying used: 2010 Volvo XC60

This sport utility is arguably one of the safest vehicles on the road and it’s loaded with luxury features

Buying used: 2010 Volvo XC60One of the things that cemented Volvo’s presence in Canada was the company’s reputation for building cars that seem to run forever. For example, despite being out of production for some 25 years, the 240 is still a fairly common sight on city streets, at least where I live. The same seems to be true…

Buying used: the 2011 Nissan Quest

With seating for seven, this edition of the Quest also featured a lower step-in height and improved fuel economy

Buying used: the 2011 Nissan QuestLooking for a decent used minivan? I am and one of the models I’ve had a look at is the Nissan Quest, 2011 edition. This is the fourth generation of Nissan’s people-carrier. The previous generation was, by the company’s admission, a bit of a disappointment. So they went back to the drawing board and redid…

The loving restoration of a 1953 A40 Countryman

Designed for work, not play, the Forestry Service models weren’t built in large numbers. There might be a dozen of them left

The loving restoration of a 1953 A40 CountrymanDuring the 1950s and early ’60s, before anyone had heard of Honda, Nissan, Toyota or Hyundai, the bestselling import brand in Canada was Austin. Models like the Devon, Somerset, Cambridge, Westminster and, eventually, Mini, dominated the small-car market. Like a lot of other Canadian families, we usually had an Austin of one type or another…

Toyota Venza stands the test of time

Buying used: Definitely not a conventional sedan but not quite a fully-fledged SUV either

Toyota Venza stands the test of timeAccording to Consumer Reports, the average life expectancy of a new vehicle these days is around eight years or 250,000 km. Some can even go 15 years and up to 500,000 km, if properly maintained. With that in mind: the 2010 Toyota Venza. Available with front or all-wheel drive, the Venza was introduced to the…

Lexus LS 460 stands the test of time

The 2010 version offers plenty of refinements and is, in general, a pleasure to drive

Lexus LS 460 stands the test of timeTen years on, let’s look at Lexus’s first self-parking car: the 2010 LS 460. Available in two wheelbase sizes, with optional all-wheel-drive, it featured two versions of Lexus’s 4.6-litre V8 engine, and the transmission was an eight-speed automatic with manual shift mode. Whatever you chose, you were getting one of the smoothest and most usable…

The enduring allure of the Porsche Panamera

It has a kind of muscularity about it, but not clumsy or overdone, and features a visual presence few others can match

The enduring allure of the Porsche PanameraHere’s another in my series of ones that got away – cars that I’ve encountered over the years and wish I’d kept. But in this case, I couldn’t have afforded it in the first place. When it was introduced in 2010, the Porsche Panamera was priced in the $120,000 neighbourhood – before taxes. Hard to…

Some quality used car choices from 2016

Infiniti Q60 Coupe, Hyundai Tucson, Subaru Crosstrek and Jaguar F-Type Coupe all make the grade

Some quality used car choices from 2016Once again, some used car picks for your consideration, this time from 2016. Infiniti Q60 Coupe I include this model or one big reason: styling. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but many of Infiniti’s models seem to look like mechanical weightlifters on steroids and there are some, shall we say,…

Looking for a 2015 used car? Here are some good bets

BMW 3 Series, Kia Optima Hybrid, Scion xB, Toyota Prius V all offer good value and quality

Looking for a 2015 used car? Here are some good betsLooking for a used car around five years old? Here are some models from 2015 that I happen to like, from four manufacturers. BMW 3 Series BMW makes some outstanding automobiles, no question. But for driving pleasure, value, and accessibility, the 3 Series takes some beating. The base version was actually less expensive than the…

Eight 2014 models that could fill your used-car needs

From subcompacts to minivans to performance cars, here's something for every buyer

Eight 2014 models that could fill your used-car needsAre you looking for a used car around five years old? Here are some suggestions from four manufacturers for the model year 2014. Ford Fiesta This model shows that Ford can do more than build hotrods and pickup trucks. With plenty of European input, the Fiesta was arguably the only North American subcompact on equal…

The best, and worst, used cars of 2015

The best, and worst, used cars of 2015Thinking of buying a used car that’s … oh … four years old? Well, every year, Consumer Reports (CR) publishes its “Best And Worst” automobile issue. This is arguably the most comprehensive and thorough automobile guide in the industry and takes a hard, cold look at new and used cars and SUVs. Consumer Reports accepts…

Mazda MX-5 has the heart of an MGB – and much more

The MX-5 has better handling and braking, a much more appropriate engine, better rust resistance and a manageable soft-top

Mazda MX-5 has the heart of an MGB – and much moreIn its 18-year production run – from 1962 to 1980 – the MGB was purchased by more than half a million people. It was – and still is – one of the most successful two-seaters ever made and, even today, stands up well. There are still thousands of them around the world and the parts/service…

Surviving the contact sport of buying a used car

Beware con artists, smoothies, carpetbaggers, excuse-makers and truth-stretchers

Surviving the contact sport of buying a used carA few months ago, I got the chance to take my own advice and put my money where my mouth is. My daughter needed a cheap but decent used car – something sensible, with back door/seat access and a decent-sized trunk. Budget: $5,000 max. Here are some of the cars we checked out: 2003 BMW…

Five things that changed the classic car hobby

Electronic ignitions, new carburetors, synthetic lubricating fuels, eBay and collector car insurance all play a role

Five things that changed the classic car hobbyLike pets and people, cars need to be exercised regularly, especially those with a few miles on them. If those old bones and joints aren’t given a regular workout, they deteriorate. Rubber gets brittle, oil loses its viscosity, gas sheds its octane and moving parts become arthritic. Cars aren’t couch potatoes – they like it…
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